Students

CSTIP welcomes student participants and affiliates from all of the Schar School’s programs. Students support one another’s academic and intellectual endeavors, help to organize events, and share their research. Masters students at the Schar School are generally working professionals. CSTIP welcomes those who are working in the field of science and technology policy, or who aspire to do so, to affiliate with the center and to share their interests and expertise. Doctoral students associated with CSTIP work with faculty as research assistants and collaborators. They also carry out research projects of their own design, culminating in dissertations that certify them as independent members of the policy research community.

Affiliated Doctoral Students

H. Aaron Finney is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at George Mason University.  His research explores the effects of digital inequality on learning outcomes for various student populations.  He examines technology usage within diverse communities and analyzes the nature of the digital divide in both global and domestic contexts.  His dissertation assesses the influence of government intervention programs on bridging the digital divide.  Finney has spent twelve years working in various public school environments, and has served nine years as an instructional coach for development of teachers’, students’, and school administrators’ technology capacities for enhancing learning experiences and instructional practices.  Prior to his work in the educational sector, he served as a project manager and analyst on international economic development projects in the financial sector, and worked in micro-finance and humanitarian advocacy.

 


 

Monique V. Helfrich has extensive experience in functional oversight and as a team leader, team member, and independent researcher/analyst in a wide variety of issues in the areas of safety and hazards analysis and environmental protection and waste management. This experience has been gained through working for a national laboratory; working for a government agency that has health and safety oversight of Department of Energy defense nuclear facilities; and working for various private companies that have operated government facilities and/or provided technical support to government agencies.

Her work experience in safety and hazards analysis for the nuclear weapons complex and chemical demilitarization facilities includes review of emergency preparedness and response capabilities of sites and facilities; review of governance approaches to oversight and self-assessment; support to the development and review of safety bases for nuclear and hazardous facilities and processes; oversight of the startup of process operations; and development and implementation of safety requirements.

Her work experience in environmental protection and waste management includes research to develop new waste treatment technologies; computer modeling of chemical processes and their effect on the environment; evaluation of the effects of long-term storage of waste on the environment and development of alternative closure methods for these sites; evaluation of ongoing waste generation and disposal efforts; and implementation of environmental requirements.

Helfrich has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a MS in Systems Engineering and a MPP from George Mason University.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at George Mason University; the title of her dissertation is “Crafting Policy in the Face of Uncertainty: Managing High-Consequence Operations.”

 


 

Chang Kwon is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at George Mason University.  His current research concerns the role of technological change and progress in the improvement of societal and individual well-being.  Specifically, he asks what positive and negative effects technology has on different aspects of well-being.  Other research examines economic factors that affect technological progress at the country level.  His broader research agenda involves delving into more complex dynamics of technological change relative to various social determinant effects and outcomes.  Chang Kwon holds a BA in Economics and Sociology from the University of Virginia and a MPP from Georgetown University.

 


 

David Morar is working on a dissertation on multistakeholder Internet governance.  David holds a Master of International Affairs, with a graduate minor in Science, Technology and Society, from Penn State’s School of International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Bucharest.

 


 

Neil Peretz’s dissertation is focused on developing metrics for assessing the efficacy of the Accredited Investor rule, which restricts the type of investors who can purchase unregistered securities, such as those issued by startup companies.  To date, no one has conducted an empirical study of whether there are certain fraud risks that are particularly common among unregistered stock issuances.  A better understanding of these fraud risks could guide policymakers in fine-tuning the Accredited Investor rule.  Neil holds an LLM from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (where he was a Fulbright Scholar), a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from Tufts University.  By day Neil practices law in the financial services industry and he has formerly worked for the DOJ, SEC, and CFPB.

 


 

Ken Sandler’s dissertation is a study of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal program and the nature of its success in stopping many new coal-fired power plants from being built. Ken has spent 25 years leading the development of green building and sustainability programs across the Federal government, formerly at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and now at the General Services Administration (GSA). He currently manages GSA’s Green Building Advisory Committee and co-chairs the Interagency Sustainability Working Group.

 


 

Alfred Sarkissian’s general research interests revolve around the determinants, processes and outcomes of innovation. He is currently working on the drug discovery innovation system.

 


 

Anthony Tingle’s dissertation is a study of the U.S. Government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.  As a space operations officer in the US Army, Anthony has worked in technical space operations and the acquisition of new technology. He holds ME and MBA degrees from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and a BS in systems engineering from the United States Military Academy.  He currently teaches undergraduate courses at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.